Stop Calling My Daughter’s Death A Car Accident

Our client Hsi-Pei Liao writes an opinion piece for Wired Magazine about the importance of language around fatal crashes like the one that killed his beloved daughter, Allison Hope Liao. 

IN OCTOBER OF 2013, an SUV driver making a left turn ran over and killed my three-year-old daughter. Allison, walking hand-in-hand with her grandmother in Flushing, Queens, had the right of way, dashcam video showed.

Police did not charge the driver with a misdemeanor or felony, but gave him tickets for failure to yield and failure to use due care. Those were thrown out by a state department of motor vehicles judge, who ignored the video evidence and took just 47 seconds to rule that the driver was “not guilty.”

My story is one of many.

Imagine being hit by a vehicle so hard that you’re knocked unconscious for several minutes, and the driver flees the scene. Bystanders find the side-view mirror, and trace it back to the car. But the police won’t even question the car’s owner, saying they consider the whole thing an “accident.”

Or imagine your child is run over and killed by a city bus driver who had recently been suspended for texting at the wheel; the day he hit your child was his first day back at work. Once again, authorities classify the collision as an “accident.”

Read the full article here.

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